Tomas Maier: A Cut Above

WHO: Tomas Maier (right, photo by Collier Schorr), German founder and designer of his namesake line, creative director of Bottega Veneta and part-time Palm Beacher


DESIGN AESTHETIC: Classic, understated, clean-cut


CLAIM TO FAME: Maier turned around the Bottega Veneta brand using a minimalist approach that included stripping the house of its logo


HIS OTHER JOB: Established in 1997, Tomas Maier is known for swimwear and knits and operates three stores, including one on Worth Avenue (below)



Tell us all about your latest collection. What was your vision or inspiration?

I always think about dressing as a way of communicating to oneself and others what is important—so a beautiful cut, simple lines, interesting proportions always inspire me.


How does Palm Beach influence your line?

Palm Beach plays into the collection as the ultimate backdrop for dressing casually. I like the ease and sophistication of this town—the natural beauty is inspiring.


What’s your favorite piece in your spring/summer 2015 collection?

The denim shirtdress (right). I like to take denim and do something different and unexpected.


Who is the Tomas Maier woman?

Unfussy, active, smart and self-assured. One who is confident enough to know what works for her.


What can we expect next from your line?

In terms of products we will insist upon the TM “classics”—those items the clients have embraced and come to expect from us. In terms of goals, we hope to make our understated and easy approach to dressing more accessible to more people first here in the United States and next in Europe and Asia.


What is your design philosophy?

Uncomplicated and thoughtful; an edited and essential designer’s point of view on casual living.


How is designing for your line different from designing for Bottega Veneta?

The brands are so separate in their execution that I don’t find it difficult to separate the design process. However, they are complimentary in the sense that Bottega Veneta will provide you with the “extraordinary,” while Tomas Maier will provide you with the “necessary.”


How do you balance your workload?

I like to work—it gives me energy. My workload at Bottega Veneta is greater than at my own brand; however, they are much more established in terms of structure and support. At Tomas Maier, we are just re-beginning, and of course new things require nurturing.


You turned Bottega Veneta around using a clean, logo-less approach. What was your mindset for this decision, and why do you think this was so successful?

At the time, there was very little product addressing itself to clients with a more understated taste—myself included. I felt that there was a need for restraint, and obviously now I see I was not the only one.


You grew up with an architect as a father. How does architecture influence you as a fashion designer?

Architecture—like landscape design, furniture design, industrial design and fashion design—are cousins. You try to make something that has design integrity and lasts. Imminent inspiration in beautiful design and architecture as a discipline teaches me that lines and proportion are as relevant to a dress as they are to a building.


What trend or item would you say is a wardrobe essential for spring?

Essential is that you look and feel good in what you are wearing. Color, fabric, shape—all must flatter you. Best to remain discreet and be remembered for looking good as opposed to what you were wearing.


How do you like to spend your time in Palm Beach?

In Palm Beach, we keep it pretty low key and simple: drinks with friends, a walk on the beach or dinner at one of the good restaurants in town. I am a creature of habit and often end up at the Palm Beach Grill.


If you could have dinner with anybody, who would it be?

A good gossipy dinner with a great story teller, like Cecil Beaton. I would not like to meet someone I admire too much for fear of being disappointed by the reality.


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